As a mum in business it is very easy to put yourself down on the priority list, after the kids, partner, work, house and everything else that seems to end up on our plate there is always just so much to do and we are programmed to put everyone first and need to be constantly multi-tasking which honestly, becomes downright exhausting.
Within business, it is important to always be managing our mental energy levels to ensure that we don’t deplete because once we do, it impacts our productivity, our decisions, our clarity – well pretty much everything and that means that not only we suffer but our business suffers.
So, we know that self care is so very important for everyone, especially us mums. I am the first to put my hand up to share I have been very mentally drained in the past because I want to do all the things now, am super impatient and very determined and driven, which means I miss the signs to slow down and take a rest (oops).
Since I try to live and learn these days I make sure I do some type of self care every day and as a mum of four kids including 14 month old twins I can say hand on my heart it is doable, and it can be as simple as taking a few minutes to just focus on your breath and doesn’t always involve baths, facials and massages.
Did you know we commonly swallow breath when we are stressed out (I regularly catch myself holding my breath even!) and when we do this it activates the flight or fight response and our body thinks we are under attack! This is why stopping during the day to really take some big long breaths is so simple and effective, it sends a message to our brain that we are safe and everything is a-ok! I talk about self care regularly in my Facebook group Remarkable Business Mums and also my personal Instagram account (follow me by clicking here)
It is so important to find a self care routine that works for you and I recently caught up with Lauren from Mums Who Wine to get her thoughts on self care because if you haven’t come across Mums who Wine yet she has a whole movement around it tagged #selfcaresaves.
At Mums Who Wine they fervently and passionately believe that #selfcaresaves, it is that simple. For that reason it is her mission to ensure that every mother across Australia prioritises their own self care and mental health. #soulsister
Lauren is extremely passionate about self care and says it can be many things, for her most recently it was as simple as accepting help and advice (how often do us mums say no to help because we don’t want to bother anyone else!)
Other times it is as simple as walking to a special place by the water and just sitting alone, in stillness and taking the time to meditate, pray and journal which gives her time to think and to re-energise so she is ready to go back to family life.
Positive self talk
It might sound a bit strange but the first thing I do in the morning is check in with ‘me’ and I talk to myself almost the same way I would talk to my children, with love, kindness and compassion, along with a good dose of gratitude for the new day. Why? Think about it like this, for a lot of us our internal dialogue isn’t that nice, right? We are pretty brutal on ourselves. So imagine if you were saying all that stuff to your 5-year-old self. How do you think that would make her feel? Those feelings are what you are carrying around with you every day. Imagine what that is doing to your soul and how that flows through and impacts every action and thought you have. You can’t possibly create a successful life through that.
A little while ago I cottoned on to this and changed the way I talk to myself. I validate how I am feeling. I tell myself it is ok to be mad, angry, upset and when I do a good job I own it. Trust me, I am crap at lots of things, like keeping white clothes that crisp white, having matching socks for the kids, folding washing but I am also great at lots of things too, like business. Especially helping people find business ideas, growing businesses and helping and serving through my communities.
It has been amazing to see how saying this to myself changes my outlook, regardless of the type of sleep I had or what is currently going on. It makes me feel confident and ready to take on the day head on, regardless of what is thrown at me. It can be easy to let negativity seep into your self-talk, though using this time in the morning to accept myself, makes a world of difference to my day.
Personally I self talk the following:
- I love and accept myself
- I am proud of myself
- All of my problems have solutions
- I believe in myself
- I can do anything
- Today will be a brilliant day
I was a little skeptical about breathing exercises because it sounded way too simple and obvious. Like, breathe? Don’t we do that all day every day? Are you for reals?
But trust me on this one. It is everything. As I mentioned above it deactivates the flight or fight response and helps us return to our centre. By focusing on our breath and allowing our breath to be louder than our thoughts we can always come back to ourselves. Doesn’t mean it is easy to do because sitting still can actually be really hard when we have the monkey chatter going crazy in our brains and a to do list as long as our arm but two minutes is all it take to find centre and move past the discomfort of being still. I shared a post about the positive affect box breathing has on my tween over via this link. It is fantastic for people (and children) with anxiety.
Drink More Water
This might seem like a no brainer, but since I have swapped to a drink bottle during the day it has been incredible to see the amount of water I am now drinking and the additional energy I have. Ok fine, so I do need to pee A-LOT more which is annoying when I am busy but it is worth it. Did you know dehydration can cause sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion and irritability? Try working on your business or even just staying sane as a mum throughout all that and still having a successful day! Not sure it is doable. So give yourself a helping hand and keep on top of the water.
Have a Self-Date
This is so important, and if you want it to happen I suggest booking in time in your calendar. When I have a self date, I do activities that I really enjoy and they are basic as anything like getting back to nature and going for a walk, watching trashy tv (Kardashians anyone?) or going down the scroll hole on social media. Ok so I am not sure the last one is the best advice but you know what? It helps my brain turn off all the thinking for a little while. These are the activities that really help me to zone out and help my brain rest from the constant merry go around it is on. It doesn’t have to be all day, but even just 30 minutes or maybe even 5 minutes. It is all better than nothing right?
Set A Regular Bedtime Routine
This can be a hard one, especially trying to do motherhood and work. Sometimes it feels late at night can be the only time to get things done. Therefore I have made a promise to myself that regardless of what I am doing, I go to bed at the same time every night (or close to it) to maintain a routine and proper sleep. This in turn has helped for me to wake in the morning at the same time and get up for my morning exercise. I feel from doing this I am having more productive days both at home and at work.
Extra tip: If you don’t already make your bed every day try it out. A make bed is a clean space which can open up more space and clarity plus it feels good and is an accomplishment in the first ten minutes of your day!